The Károli Gáspár Reformed University in Budapest celebrated its 30th anniversary at the Grand Hall of the Hungarian Academy of Science. The anniversary commemorates not only the past three decades, but also the period before that, the roots of Reformed Protestant higher education, as well as the spirit and mission that inspired the institution.
Photo: Hungary Today
The decision to establish the Károli Gáspár Reformed University was taken during the Synod of the Reformed Church of Hungary on 24 February 1993, while the proposal was adopted by the Parliament on 1 October 1993, which also codified the establishment of the university.
The joint commemorative ceremony of the Reformed Church of Hungary and the Károli Gáspár Reformed University, was held in the Banquet Hall of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on Friday, where the founders and scholars of the university presented the achievements of ecclesiastical university education, the challenges of the future, the tasks and goals of the current leadership.
The ceremony was attended, among others, by Bishop Zoltán Balog, Pastoral President of the Synod of the Reformed Church in Hungary, László Trócsányi, Rector of the University, and Silvester E. Vizi, former president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Bishop Zoltán Balogh spoke about God becoming one’s companion in one’s quest for knowledge. He said that we must be grateful for people who begin their quest for wisdom from the proverbial “Fear of the Lord”, such as the first Hungarian Christian King, Stephan I. a thousand years ago, the Protestant forefathers 500 years ago, and those who have dreamed about this university 30 years ago.
Decisions made in faith are the ones that persevere, and one such was the founding idea of the university, remarked Bishop Balog.
Prof. Dr. László Trócsányi, Rector of the University, emphasized that the Károli Gáspár University has two fundamental goals: it represents Christian values on the one hand, while on the other hand it transfers scientific knowledge necessary for our graduates to be successful during their professional life.
A Christian university can tackle challenges that lie ahead only if it has a firm value system that it employs to show the way to its students, who are trying to find their way in the world and in society.
In his speech, Prof. Silvester E. Vizi spoke about the birth of science, the need to know the world. He said that the evolution of human thinking has brought significant changes to human society and the economy. Human society was neither sociologically nor politically prepared for this rapid development, nor are the churches prepared to deal with this situation. Man has been given infinitely powerful tools, the peculiarity of which is that their use is handed down from generation to generation. The use of these for good or ill depends on the individual, and is therefore also a moral issue. Morality has to be taught over and over again from generation to generation. Only education can do this. Here is, where the churches have a decisive role.
This is where, after the Péter Pázmány Catholic University, the raison d’être and the unheard-of responsibility of Károli Gáspár University emerge. This is what makes this day so special, because we are celebrating the birth of a university which is called upon to educate those who will sow the seeds of truth in society to respect human values, closed his remarks Professor Vizi.